Putting COVID-19 in perspective

Putting COVID-19 in perspective

By Dr. Elizabeth Klodas 

It’s impossible to get away from the statistics. Check any news outlet and you’ll find a running total of how many people have been sickened by the coronavirus.  When I last looked at the tally map on the Johns Hopkins website, they had counted 266,671 U.S. coronavirus cases and 6,921 U.S. deaths due to COVID-19. This has all happened since the first reported infection was documented on U.S. soil on January 20, 2020.

No question, these statistics are scary, especially since these numbers have evolved over only 75 days - and are expected to get worse before they get better. Easy to understand why our lives have been turned upside down while we all attempt to avoid, treat and eventually eliminate this disease.

But did you know that based on 2017 statistics, during those same seventy five days 206,550 Americans died from heart disease and stroke?

At some point the daily toll of deaths from coronavirus may exceed that of heart disease/stroke (2,754/day) but that will be only temporary, while heart disease and stroke will maintain their toll day in and day out and year after year.

I don’t mean, in any way, to make light of COVID-19 and I vehemently urge you to continue to do everything you can to avoid getting the infection, and to support your immune system as best as you can.  

Just don’t lose sight of the big picture. 

Eighty percent of heart disease is avoidable.  So once the pandemic passes, I urge you to use the same vigor you used to try and avoid coronavirus and apply it to heart disease prevention.

Actually, there’s no time like the present!

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